Edited By Grove Karl Gilbert and published in Chicago in 1903. (100 pages)
The Publisher has copy-edited this book to improve the formatting, style and accuracy of the text to make it readable. This did not involve changing the substance of the text.
.....IN about the year 1885 Mrs. M. D. Lincoln undertook the preparation of a biography of Major Powell, and from time to time during several years busied herself with the gathering of material. Her most important source was Major Powell himself, and through a series of interviews she obtained the events of his early and middle life as they were preserved in his memory. In some of those interviews she wrote down his words, and her manuscript as finally completed contains much of his characteristic phraseology. In a sense, therefore, and to a certain extent, the relation is autobiographic.
.....Her work covered his early life and military career, but she did not feel competent to treat of his scientific labors and attainments, and for this subject appeal was made to Mr. G. K. Gilbert, member of the Geological Survey, who wrote two further chapters on Major Powell's scientific career. This was in 1888.
.....Since Major Powell's death, Mr. Gilbert has revised his manuscript so as to cover the later as well as earlier scientific work; and two chapters have been added, one by Mr. Marcus Baker, and another by the editor of The Open Court.
.....All these tributes to our late friend appeared in The Open Court, December, 1902, to June, 1903, and are here reprinted, with slight revision.
Chapter I. Boyhood And Youth, Chapter II. The Soldier, Chapter III. The Professor, Chapter IV. The Explorer, Chapter V. The Investigator, Chapter VI. The Promoter Of Research, Chapter VII. Personal Reminiscences Of One Of His Staff, Chapter VIII. The Chief.
.....JOHN WESLEY POWELL was born of English parents at Mount Morris, New York, on the 24th of March, 1834. His father, Joseph Powell, while in England, had been a preacher of the Wesleyan Church, and after reaching America he continued to preach. A diligent reader, a terse speaker, a sound thinker; honest, precise, and devout, the stern morality which he taught in the pulpit was exemplified in all his social relations and particularly in the government of his household. The severity of the father's discipline was, however, softened by the gentle influence of the mother. Remarkable alike for her womanly graces and rare gifts of mind, she shone like an angel of light in the home, planning a thousand pleasures for her children and judiciously managing her domestic affairs while her husband itinerated through the country on his ministerial labors.
.....THE establishment of peace left the soldier without an occupation. He had willingly followed a life of toil and danger, when great national issues were at stake, but he could not be a soldier in time of peace. He therefore speedily sought some new occupation. After considering many different plans, he was prevailed upon to accept a nomination for the office of County Clerk of Du Page County, Illinois.
.....A few days later he received a letter from the President of the Illinois Wesleyan University, at Bloomington, offering him the professorship of geology in that institution. This he accepted at once, although the salary was but $1,000 per annum, while the office of County Clerk was worth from $5,000 to $6,000. This university had previously given him the degree of A. B. and then of A. M., but the offer of the professorship was entirely unexpected. He left for Bloomington at once and entered upon his new duties.
.....Professor Powell saw in the parks and canyons of Colorado more than a mere training-school for students. Vast unexplored regions, hitherto represented on all maps by an utter blank, astonished and attracted him. He knew that through this unexplored territory must flow that great river, the Colorado of the West, unknown for much of its course to civilized man.